My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ planting and preparing garden beds


My back tells me I’ve shovelled too much compost.  

mesculun-2.JPG chives-and-lettuce.JPG For the last three days, I’ve laboured, clearing garden beds and getting  plants into the soil as well as preparing for later sowings of other vegies . I’m encouraged by the sight of all those wriggly worms, large and small, burrowing and digging for all their worth. I’ve delegated them the task of doing the serious work.  

italian-herbs.JPG strawberry-3.JPG The old strawberry bed has had an overdue tidy-up and the runners now have nice sunny raised beds to grow in. Visions of lots of juicy red strawberries in time for Xmas, and jam-making …..  Still on my To Do List is a make-over of my Italian herbs in the pots.

kowinin-kowiniwini-potato-plot.JPG I’ve mentioned in previous posts I can’t imagine not growing potatoes. I planted Swift as the Xmas new potato. This season, I’m trying Kowiniwini and Maori  potatoes as additions to my small collection of heritage seeds. According to the information I got from the nursery about Kowiniwini is that it’s a good all rounder and keeper, crops well, is purple with white eyes. The Maori is round and large, with no inset eyes,has white flesh and a purple skin. I’ve been trying to get hold of King Edward seed potatoes. My Dad grew these when I was a kid. I’ll also plant Red Rascal later on.

I love to traipse around garden centres to see what’s new, read the labels and so on. Yesterday, I happened on a delightful floribunda rose Betty Boop. It struck a chord because of my mother’s given name and because I recalled her telling us once about similar sounding childhood nickname she was called by her brothers. I searched the history of this rose and found Betty Boop to have been a delightful Paramount pictures cartoon character in the 1930s – the time of Mum’s girlhood in England. I’ll buy this rose for Mum – she needs cheer in her life because of her declining health, and she does love her roses.  

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

15 thoughts on “My Garden ~ planting and preparing garden beds

  1. A Chara Jenny,

    really impressed this time. It’s encouaging to know that simply ‘a love of the game’ is alive and well. You might keep me posted on the potatoes – I was think somewhat different to you on that point. Personal choice reasons only. You may just have turned my head!

    Slán go foill

    [ps did Mum like the rose?]

  2. Ooh… strawberries in time for Christmas… That’s such a funny thought for me over here in the UK. I hope you get them though.

    Hope your back is okay now. Sometimes those heavy jobs don’t show themselves until a couple of days later. I’ve done something to my elbow at the moment (and I’m sure it’s rhubarb related!), so I had a quiet non-gardening weekend, but I hope to be back out next weekend. (Weather permitting…)

  3. Ah, those heavy jobs – tell me about it, Nezza. My back will survive (and so will I). Lifting and relocating my old rhubarb crowns is also on my To Do List, so I’ll bear your experience in mind and take care. Yes, strawberries and all the other berries appear on our tables at Xmas. We also love the cherries from the South Island (wonderful but expensive). Cheers, Jenny.

    Kia ora, Peter, you can be sure I’ll write about the potatoes – especially the new varieties. That’s the excitement, isn’t it … observing the growth of a plant and noting its characteristics in relation to your own situation. A love of gardening runs through the family – Dad kept us as a family in the ’50 and ’60s supplied with fresh home-grown food grown without sprays. I think I’ve sourced a local supply of King Edward seed. And yes, Mum likes the rose. Cheers, Jenny.

  4. Good to hear your back is surviving. It isn’t pleasant though, so I agree you should take care.

    Living in the the northern part of my state in the U.S. I can’t imagine strawberries for Christmas either. It seems so strange that it is spring where you are.

  5. Hi Jolynna, The cooking heat in the kitchen is too much during a warm summer day. We tend to eat light and like many other NZers, save the traditional turkey and pudding for a mid-winter ‘Xmas’ feast. I like to make up a festive platter of strawberries mixed with other red berry fruits. A simple finish after a barbequed meal – and of course, served with pavlova which wouldn’t be pavlova for us without strawberries, kiwifruit and cream. Cheers, Jenny.

  6. Pingback: A sense of humour or too long in the garden? « Peter Donegan landscaping Weblog

  7. How’s your back doing? I hope you’re not still sore!

  8. Lots better, thanks. I swim and that seems to help. How about your elbow?

  9. The elbow on the whole is much better thanks, although I sometimes forget and do something that makes me go ‘ow’.

    I’ve just noticed you mentioned pavlova…. I’m dribbling now. That’s one of my favourite ‘puddings’ ever. Especially strawberry pavlova…mmmm!

  10. Is this gonna Kill You? No i Dont Think so !

  11. Hi Jenny;

    I have been away from blogging for a long while and just coming back to it. I have not posted publicly yet, just keeping a private journal, but thought to check in on you.

    You have quite a readership now. I so have enjoyed your posts on the garden, especially during my “gardening hiatus” in the winter months.

    I look forward to catching up with your more recent posts and following along as your garden grows this year.

    I take it you recovered from all the flooding? Are your new trees doing well?

    It took me all summer to finally clear an area for the new flowering trees I bought in early spring.

    Well, I will check back soon. Take care.

  12. Hi in21, how nice to hear from you again. I can count on the weather to create something to write about. No more floods lately – though that might change in the next day or two – we’re currently experiencing wet, north-easterly windy and humid weather coming down from the tropics. Fiji just experienced a cyclone. All the new trees (I include the fruit trees) are either fruiting and in leaf and have made a colourful start to their lifetime journey of minimising carbon emissions. I’m waiting for my pohutukawa tree buds to burst into their first lot of crimson flowers. This is our NZ christmas icon tree. I’m quite amazed about the readership. I really write for myself just as I used to do in my private garden diary. Blogging was an experiment, an excursion into the unknown. Garedning seemed a safe thing to to write about. I’m just an amateur gardener, so writing becomes an interesting challenge to keep a light touch as if I’m chatting to my sister, a neighbour or a friend. I’ve become mindful to detail my taken-for-granted references, of how I describe or explain things I do or observe for people elsewhere in the world who happen to read my posts. Do check back. Look forward to chatting again. Cheers, Jenny.

  13. Can I screen around and over the top of my strawberry patch to keep birds and bunnies out and still get enough sun to get a good crop?

  14. Fantastic publish. I had been checking out frequently this site and i’m encouraged! Helpful facts particularly the last step 🙂 My partner and i deal with these information lots. I’m looking for this kind of information and facts for a quite very long period. Thanks a lot as well as regarding success.

    • I’m encouraged by your comments. My garden is and always will be a work in progress. I often get lost in my garden only to emerge with a fresh idea or perspective about life. I have all these experiences and then ponder the lessons. Truth is that I learn from others – more often I learn from my gardening mistakes. Never any shortage of material to blog about.

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